End of the Line.
I don’t know what happened. Honestly, I don’t. I think of myself as a good diabetic, an observant one at the very least, so the fact that this happened is just mind-boggling. It’s almost painful to think about the damage that could have been caused to my blood vessels over the weekend, but the fact is that it happened and I want to make sure that it never happens again.
So what happened?
On Friday night while babysitting, I tested and rang in at 318 mg/dl, which was odd because I was 138 mg/dl only a couple hours earlier. I corrected and an hour later, after the kids had eaten, I made raviolis and a frozen breaded chicken, then a snack a few hours later. Before I went to sleep, I tested at 341 mg/dl. Not only had I not come down, I had actually gone up slightly. I thought it was a bit strange, but chalked it up to the handful of cereal that I snuck while waiting for the parents to come home (even though I had bolused for said cereal).
I went to bed assuming the correction bolus would work and I’d come down. But sometimes I get this sneaking suspicion that my body occasionally forgets what insulin is supposed to do.
I woke up feeling a little funny. Very tired. I tested my blood sugar. My jaw dropped. 505 mg/dl. There’s something about reading in the 500s that makes me want to cry.
It was bizarre, to say the least, but I knew I was at the end of my reservoir, so I changed my set and opened a new bottle of insulin (make a mental note of this! it’s important!). I did a correction bolus with my pump using the new insulin. A couple of hours later, I was 342 mg/dl.
Relieved to be coming down, I made two Eggo waffles and spread a light amount of apple butter on top. I bolused for sixty carbs (30 for the waffles, 30 for the apple butter). But a couple of hours later, when I tested again, I had spiked back up into the 400s! Okay, okay, maybe the apple butter was a bad idea, but with all the correction bolusing I was doing, you’d think I would have at least stayed the same (the idea being that the correction bolus would cover the food to keep me stable, instead of bring me down). I resorted to using an insulin injection, and just before leaving for the Gala, I was clocking in at 157 mg/dl.
The rest of the night would not be so easy. Going out to a party is always difficult, but because of my roller coaster day I actually tried to refrain from eating too many carbohydrates and tried to walk around to burn off some of the sugar. I tested periodically throughout the evening, and each time I was in the 400s. I simultaneously was bolusing for food (as best as I could) and took correction doses.
Aren’t correction boluses supposed to bring you down? Apparently not. By the time I got home, I was at a staggering 457 mg/dl. I changed my set and gave another correction bolus, and two hours later, I was up to 464 mg/dl. No movement. Whatsoever.
Seriously, my body was defying science. You give insulin, blood sugar goes down. Right? It wasn’t until 3 in the morning that my body finally hit… 376 mg/dl.
When I woke up the next morning, I was 360 mg/dl. All that insulin and yet nothing. After another round of set-changing and triple-checking that insulin was coming out of the tubing (so no leaks), I decided to take another insulin injection. A few hours later and I was back down to 166 mg/dl.
I stayed in the 100s until I decided to have dinner. Big mistake. I only had pasta (and this is something I eat every day so I have it down to a science) for dinner and little while later popping a bag of popcorn while watching television. Bed time reading? 532 mg/dl. My highest of the weekend.
I spent the next few hours trying to drag my blood sugar back down to earth, fearing what might happen if I woke up for work the next day in the 500s. I also tested for ketones, which I had neglected to do because I didn’t have any plastic cups (hey, I’m a girl. I’m not that talented). As I tweeted my grievances throughout the night, receiving some very thoughtful responses, I eventually hit 187 mg/dl at 1 a.m.
So I went to bed.
When I woke up? 73 mg/dl.
I’m still struggling with some trips to the 300s, but for the most part I’m staying pretty close to normal range. I know my basals and bolus ratios need tweaking, but it doesn’t negate the fact that this weekend did not make sense.
On Monday, I was done. Fed up. No longer was I going to put up with waking up to find myself at 505 mg/dl. I should have known earlier what was going on. Seen that my blood sugars were not coming down. I should not have to wait two to three hours before testing to see if any change is being made.
So I called Minimed. And I told the customer service representative that I wanted a continuous glucose monitor. As luck would have it, I am with one of the best insurance companies to get a CGM (United Healthcare). I spoke to a CGM representative and the request to upgrade my insulin pump to the Minimed 722 is currently being processed. I should have a new pump by the end of the month. If everything goes swimmingly, I should have a month’s worth of sensors by the end of the year.
Some people have impossible low blood sugars. Me? I have impossible high blood sugars. Some people don’t feel low blood sugars. I don’t feel high blood sugars until I’m in the upper 300s or 400s. That’s unacceptable. That does just as much – if not more – damage to someone. The bouncing needs to stop. I am not a tennis ball.
This is the end of the line for the snapshot diabetes management. It’s time for the age of proactive diabetes management to begin.